It started as a quick walk across a crowded parking lot and ended in deep theological thought.
I glanced at a metallic sticker on a white van. Like so many touting breast cancer awareness or support for our troops, at first it didn’t seem out of place and I didn’t pay it much attention. But the shape made it stand out. It was a paw print and getting closer I could see a simple question etched on it. “Who rescued who?”
“How funny,” I thought. Then a split second later, my thought was, “How true!”
Rascal, my faithful canine companion, was a rescued dog. At first, I wasn’t sure I even wanted her in our home. She was big, a little skittish around new owners and at 80 pounds, certainly not the lap dogs I was used to during my childhood.
But she was gentle, kind, loving and very loyal. And she grew on me. When my beloved Diamond cat passed away, Rascal sensed my unhappiness. Soon her attention and devotion to me made all the misgivings about owning her melt away and we became inseparable. After her arthritis prevented her from climbing the stairs to my bedroom, she and I fashioned our own little ‘girl cave’ in the living room.
When I ask, “Who rescued who?” it isn’t as simple as saying that I saved Rascal from the needle. She gave me endless joy and beautiful companionship for many years; in many ways, saving me from loneliness and sadness.
But once this heartfelt memory of my beloved dog ended, the question begged to be asked about my relationship to God. He rescued me from my sins by His death on the cross. But, how often, do I treat my relationship with Him like He somehow needs my help? In this era of instant gratification, I’m like so many others who want God to give them the answer to their prayers now. And when I don’t receive the answer that I want, I shake my fist at God and wonder why He is so mean.
How many times do I pray to Him asking His guidance on a decision…to quit my job, to volunteer for a new ministry, who to ask to church on Sunday? How many times do I treat Him with the respect and honor that He deserves? How many times is it evident, like it was with Rascal and me, that Rascal loved me very deeply and understood that I was her master? How many times do I want to do life His way instead of my way?
Sadly, I’d have to answer “Not very many.” That’s because I make up a god in my head that is a cross between a kindly grandfather and Santa Claus…someone not to be feared and who grants wishes on a consistent basis. I belittle His power and sovereignty. Insisting on doing things my way. I cheapen our relationship in the process.
There is only one answer to the question of who rescued who when it pertains to my relationship with God. And that’s…He rescued me. He loved me enough to hang on a cross and die for my sins. My response should be utter devotion to glorifying Him with every minute of my life.
So, I ask you – in reference to your relationship God – who rescued who?